When mortals meet this seven-foot tall, ancient figure with searing red eyes, they call him Grandmaster; when they part, they call him Sorrow . For countless eons, he watches the game of life across an infinite number of worlds, but living so long, eternity can get boring—and what better way to defeat boredom than to create games that can determine the fate of the universe? Let the games begin!

Elder of the Universe

En Dwi Gast, also known as the Grandmaster, is one of the Elders of the Universe—a handful of ancient and powerful extraterrestrials that arose following the creation of all things. The Elders have lived longer than almost anyone else in the universe; their life forces are sustained by their monomaniacal obsessions with select pursuits. And the Grandmaster is obsessed with playing games.

During his long existence, he has amassed an immeasurably massive collection of games. He has studied, played, and mastered countless games on countless worlds, creating unique tournaments and contests in search of further diversion. He often employs other sentient beings as willing, or unwilling, pawns in his games and has repeatedly manipulated the heroes of Earth.

Grandmaster Origin

The Grandmaster’s home base is a planet of living computers with which he is mentally linked and which he can operate from across an intergalactic distance. His world is filled with games and gaming devices; effigies and images of his many pawns; a seemingly infinite variety of high-tech machinery; and countless monitors recording his various games in progress.

The Strategist Supreme

The Grandmaster is an immortal capable of manipulating cosmic energies for various effects. He is almost totally immune to disease, and can regenerate from virtually any injury or recover from being slain. He can levitate, generate energy blasts, absorb and manipulate energies from outside sources, erect force fields, teleport, and travel through time, space, and dimensions.

En Dwi Gast can project his voice and image across time and space; transmute matter on a planetary scale; cause the death of others simply by willing it, reducing them to nothingness with a gesture; resurrect beings who have recently died (though he cannot resurrect similarly cosmic-powered beings); temporarily invest other beings with his power over life and death; interact with hyperfast beings via his control of time and space; immobilize other beings in stasis fields; and assume gigantic size.


The Grandmaster is superhumanly intelligent. He can mentally compute probabilities to the tenth decimal place with ease; retain vast amounts of data; mentally perceive and analyze his surroundings in an extrasensory fashion; mind-link with the highly advanced computers of his planetary base of operations, extending and enhancing his knowledge and mental capacity; remotely observe events on other worlds; shut down his pain receptors at will; and transmit information and images into the minds of others.

He is almost totally immune to telepathic intrusion or attack, thanks to his extensive use of the Mind Gem (which gave him vast telepathic powers when he wielded it, though he lost the gem to Thanos). He has a limited telepathic rapport with his fellow Elders.

He has vast knowledge and comprehension of games and game theory, and has accumulated billions of years of knowledge regarding the rules, strategies, mechanics, and tactics of countless games from throughout the universe. A gaming addict, he is almost incapable of resisting any game or wager presented to him. Though he considers himself honorable, he will sometimes bend the rules or outright cheat if he feels it is necessary and the stakes are high enough.

The Grandmaster once commanded nearly limitless power by wielding the combined energies of the Infinity Gems, the Wand of Watoomb, the Casket of Ancient Winters, the Evil Eye, the Cosmic Cube, the Ultimate Nullifier, and various similarly powerful objects from a distant cosmos.


Deadly Distractions

The Avengers, a group of super powered individuals, are often pawns in Grandmaster's high stakes games. On one occasion, he kidnapped them for his game with Death in hopes of restoring his brother Elder, the Collector, to life. They also fought the Grandmaster by using his love of games against him.

The Mad Titan Thanos is a nihilist who worships Death and seeks the Infinity Gems across the universe. He once became engaged in a virtual reality war game with the Grandmaster over the Mind Gem before outsmarting the gamesman with a robotic version of himself and claimed the gem. In the aftermath, he left the Grandmaster in the virtual world.

In an alternate reality, Loki, the God of Mischief, possessed seven Infinity Gems. In response, the Grandmaster engaged Loki in a game to win back his Mind Gem and control a previously unknown piece of Infinity, the Ego Gem. Loki won, but all the gems combined to form Nemesis, a being that recreated reality in her image.

Baron (Helmut) Zemo hoped he might be able to harness the Wellspring of Power for the good of humanity and keep its might out of the Grandmaster’s hands for the sake of the world. He succeeded, but their battle killed them both.

Grandmaster Hawkeye

Titanic Teammates

The Elders of the Universe, including the Grandmaster, are an ancient race of extraterrestrials. While they come from different planets and species, he and the other Elders regard each other figuratively as brothers, given the unique kinship they share as the sole survivors of their universe’s earliest civilizations. The Grandmaster often takes a keen interest in the activities of the other Elders and tends to assume a leading role on those rare occasions when they collaborate.

The Collector, a fellow Elder and practical brother to the Grandmaster, is obsessed with collecting things. When the Collector seemingly died, the Grandmaster engaged in a contest with Lady Death to win him back. He kidnapped the Avengers as his champions and they won, restoring the Collector back to life. But the price of life is death, and the Grandmaster sacrificed himself in the end so that the Collector could live.




240 lbs.




Red (no visible pupils)



Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Identity, Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Identity

  • Powers

An Elder’s Past

The Grandmaster visited the alternate future kingdom of Earth-616’s Kang (a unique timeline counterpart of the Scarlet Centurion) and challenged him to a contest of champions dubbed the Game of the Galaxies. If Kang won, he would temporarily share in the Grandmaster’s power over life and death, which Kang craved as a means of reviving his near-dead lover Ravonna. If Grandmaster won, both Kang and the Earth itself would be destroyed .

Seeking champions, Kang reached into the past and recruited his old foes the Avengers, the leading Super Heroes of Earth-616’s modern era. In response, the Grandmaster assembled his own champions, creating artificial duplicates of Squadron Supreme’s Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, Nighthawk, and Whizzer. This new super quartet was dubbed the Squadron Sinister .

Kang pitted the Avengers against the Grandmaster’s Squadron Sinister. The Avengers defeated the Squadron, though the Black Knight’s interference led to that round being declared a draw . In a second round, the Avengers defeated Grandmaster’s additional, unwitting pawns, World War II heroes the Invaders (1940s incarnations of Captain America, Human Torch, and Sub-Mariner).


Kang won the Game—which the Grandmaster claimed was the first such defeat he ever suffered—but due to the Black Knight’s intervention, Kang was awarded only a partial victory, meaning he could have either the power of life or death, but not both. Unable to resist the temptation to destroy his old foes, Kang chose the power of death and tried to kill the Avengers, but the Black Knight thwarted this attempt again and the Grandmaster departed, taking his power with him .

When a newly godlike Korvac murdered Grandmaster’s fellow Elder, the Collector, the Grandmaster challenged the embodiment of Death herself to a contest of champions to win back the Collector’s life. Abducting all of Earth’s Super Heroes to use as pawns, the Grandmaster and Death placed the rest of Earth’s population in suspended animation, promising to free them if the heroes played their game. As an extra incentive, Grandmaster vowed to manipulate Earth’s heroes no further if he won this game, and Death promised to extend the life of Earth’s sun by a million years if she won.

Grandmaster and Death picked two teams of twelve pawns each, dispatching them in groups of three around the world to battle for possession of the Golden Globe of Life, four segments of which were hidden in four different locations on Earth. The final score was tied between Grandmaster’s champions, Daredevil and the Thing, and Death’s champions, Arabian Knight (Abdul Qamar) and Shamrock. The contest’s rules, howver, conceded victory to the Grandmaster in the event of a draw. Death then revealed that the Collector’s resurrection via the Globe would require the sacrifice of a similarly cosmic life force such as the Grandmaster’s. When Grandmaster hesitated, Death suggested they might sacrifice the combined lives of Earth’s heroes instead, but Grandmaster, true to his vow not to manipulate the heroes, honorably declined the offer and sacrificed his own life to resurrect the Collector. Finally, the Super Heroes were released, and the wider population was freed from suspended animation .

Believing his death freed him from the obligations of his past life, the Grandmaster’s spirit plotted to resurrect itself using Earth’s heroes as pawns again. Studying Death from inside her realm, Grandmaster contacted Collector and conspired with him to cause the deaths of the Avengers and the Silver Surfer, then tricked the heroes into battling each other within Death’s realm. As Grandmaster planned, the conflict distracted Death long enough for Grandmaster to imprison her and usurp her power.

Saying he was bored with the game of life, he resolved to start a new game by destroying and re-creating the universe. He created five “life bombs” capable of destroying the universe and gave both the East and West Coast Avengers a sporting chance to stop them, pitting the heroes against his new Legion of the Unliving—ruthless facsimiles of beings believed dead. The Avengers prevailed, but all of them except Hawkeye and Captain America died again in the process, and the slain Avengers and Surfer were added to Grandmaster’s Legion to begin the battle anew.


Facing certain defeat, Hawkeye distracted Grandmaster with a rigged game of chance long enough for Death to break free and cast Grandmaster out of her realm, condemning him and his fellow Elders to eternal life to prevent any of them from usurping her power again (an outcome Grandmaster had sought all along). A grateful Death restored the Avengers and the Silver Surfer to life as well .

Shortly after his resurrection, the Grandmaster acquired the Mind Gem. He and his fellow Elders soon conspired to destroy and supplant the cosmic being Galactus using the combined Infinity Gems, an act that would remake the universe in the process. But their plot failed, thanks in part to opposition from the Silver Surfer and Mantis, and Galactus vengefully consumed several Elders, including the Grandmaster. The devoured Elders were soon restored by Lord Chaos and Master Order, and they fled after helping Galactus and others defeat the rogue In-Betweener .

Later, Thanos sought the Infinity Gems and began taking them from the Elders until only the Grandmaster retained his Gem. By this time, Grandmaster, like Thanos himself, had begun to suspect the full power of the Gems. Studying and monitoring them, he allowed Thanos to steal the other Gems so that Grandmaster could steal them back later. Grandmaster challenged Thanos to a virtual reality war game for the Mind Gem’s possession, stipulating that Thanos would forfeit all his Gems if he lost. Grandmaster had programmed several cheats into the game to ensure his own victory, but Thanos outwitted him, sending a robotic duplicate of himself into the game instead. The true Thanos destroyed the game from the outside while Grandmaster’s mind was playing within it, reducing the Grandmaster to a shell of his former self .

Later restored, Grandmaster placed a wager on an galactic marathon race but lost when his fellow Elder the Runner was beaten by Eternal speedster Makkari, who had achieved new levels of speed. The Grandmaster offered to help Makkari adjust to his newly enhanced speed if he would spend the next 3,000 years participating in galactic, pangalactic, and universal races as Grandmaster’s champion, but Makkari declined.

Seeking to recover his lost Mind Gem, Grandmaster followed it to the “Ultraverse” alternate reality (Earth-93060), where the trickster Loki had amassed all six Infinity Gems. A seventh, previously unknown Infinity Gem, the Ego Gem, had possessed the Eternal adventurer Sersi, and through her it coerced the Grandmaster into distracting Loki with a game. If Loki won, Grandmaster would reveal the seventh Gem’s location, and if Grandmaster won, he would get his Mind Gem back.

Using Grandmaster’s “Worlds and Warriors” game, they pitted Earth-616’s Avengers and Earth-93060’s Ultraforce against each other in a tournament of champions. Loki declared victory based on a series of technicalities and Grandmaster conceded, after which the seventh Gem took Loki by surprise, merging with the other Gems to form the cosmic being Nemesis, who then remade reality in her image until she was defeated by Avengers and Ultraforce, with the Gems splitting apart.


Grandmaster’s attention was drawn back to Earth by ex-criminal mastermind Baron (Helmut) Zemo, who had wrested two vastly powerful energy-manipulating moon gems from his comatose Thunderbolts teammate, Moonstone (Karla Sofen). Experimenting with the gems, Zemo opened portals through which he glimpsed many possible futures. During these visions, he discovered the existence of the Wellspring of Power, an ancient, seemingly limitless alchemical power source within the Earth that combined magical and scientific energies in manners that defied physics.

Energies from the Wellspring had empowered various super humans over the years, and might also be directly or indirectly responsible for many of the other scientifically improbable powers and phenomena that have manifested on Earth.

Grandmaster, observing Zemo’s discovery of the Wellspring, recognized it as the same power source he had tapped to a limited extent while empowering his Squadron Sinister years earlier, and realized its full energies could empower a limitless number of super-beings. Zemo and the Grandmaster subsequently became rivals in a quest to control the Wellspring. Grandmaster hoped to use it to create armies of new superhuman pawns for his games, while Zemo hoped he might be able to harness its power for the good of humanity and keep its power out of the Grandmaster’s hands for the sake of the world.

To counter Zemo’s Thunderbolts team, Grandmaster reassembled his Squadron Sinister , consisting of a new Hyperion (Zhib Ran), supposedly the leader and last survivor of a recently destroyed Microverse world; power-hungry scientist Alice Nugent, the latest Doctor Spectrum, armed with a new energy-manipulating power prism supplied by Grandmaster; criminal chemist James Sanders, the Squadron Sinister’s original Whizzer, also known as Speed Demon; and reluctant ally Nighthawk, who considered Zemo more dangerous than the Grandmaster and rejoined the Squadron to help thwart Zemo’s ambitions.

Grandmaster planted a spy within Zemo’s ranks by convincing hypercompetitive Thunderbolts member Joystick to serve him as a double agent, promising she would become his intergalactic fighting champion after Zemo’s defeat. Zemo, meanwhile, was expanding his own forces, urging others like the U.S. government and the Super Hero community to lend him their support against the Grandmaster when the time came.

Grandmaster’s Squadron and Zemo’s Thunderbolts searched the globe for power conduits—geographical locations linked to the Wellspring. But it was the Squadron that located and closed off most of the Wellspring’s known conduits as part of a plan to pinpoint its primary conduit, which they finally traced to Germany.


Ultimately, warier of the alien Grandmaster than he was of the human Zemo, Speed Demon tipped the Thunderbolts off regarding the conduit’s location, and the two teams fought for control of the conduit site. The moonstone-empowered Zemo seemingly destroyed Grandmaster, scattering the Elder’s essence across space and time . Joystick then chose to release the Wellspring’s energies, which transformed thousands of people around the world into crazed super humans, just as Grandmaster had planned, so that they would need him to calm the crisis by harnessing the Wellspring’s energies in exchange for Earth’s superhuman service.

Unwilling to leave the world in chaos, Zemo accelerated the regeneration of Grandmaster, who rematerialized in cosmic energy form , and tried to persuade the Elder to pacify the superhuman horde. Grandmaster refused and he engaged Zemo in cosmic battle. The tide turned when Zemo drew on the collective powers and will of people from around the world, including his various hero and villain allies, and used it to temporarily neutralize the cosmic powers of both the Grandmaster and himself.

As both combatants were reduced to physically ordinary mortals, Zemo promptly executed Grandmaster with a single gunshot . In the end, Zemo took control of the Wellspring’s energies, but his teammate Songbird shattered his moon gems, breaking Zemo’s control over the Wellspring’s energies, which seemingly destroyed Zemo in the process.

A grateful world, having seen footage of Helmut defeating the Grandmaster, celebrated Zemo as a martyred hero. Zemo has since returned from his seeming demise, and an apparently restored Grandmaster was later spotted on the planet Godthab Omega just before the Annihilation Wave engulfed that world.

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